Call - 1800 SeMPRO
1800 736 776
outside AUS 612 6127 1759
Text - 0429 600 800
outside AUS 61 429 600 800
The first person most people speak to about being sexually assaulted is a trusted family member, friend or community worker/counsellor.
If someone tells you they have been sexually assaulted, it is important to listen to them and let them express how they feel. It is also important not to tell them what to do or ask why they went there, why they let them in, etc – ‘why’ questions are blame questions.
There are three crucial things a person who has been sexually assaulted needs to hear:
|What you should say||Which is heard as|
If you are told of a sexual assault, you should recommend that the person rings SeMPRO on 1800 SeMPRO (1800 736 776) to discuss the issue with a professional and gain access to appropriate support services. This support will help them to recover from their trauma.
It is, however, also important to ensure that you are not adversely affected as a result of having heard their disclosure; this is referred to as ‘vicarious trauma’. SeMPRO staff can provide you with tools to assist you to guard against vicarious trauma, or put you in contact with appropriate support services in your area.
If you are a commander or manager of the person making the disclosure, you may have additional responsibilities that require you to report the incident to ADFIS or the State/Territory police and SeMPRO. This may be difficult, as you may feel you are betraying the person’s trust. You can call SeMPRO on 1800 SeMPRO (1800 736 776) for advice on handling this issue.